Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.
December 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM
In our Sunday story about tapping into the power of parents in education, we summed up some of the research into ways parents can help students achieve.
But there’s much more, including studies from the “social capital” camp — researchers who study the webs of relationships that can bring benefits to individuals, families and schools.
That concept was at the heart of “Bowling Alone,” a book that got a lot of play a few years back for tracking the demise of social ties in America.
The studies ring true to anyone who has ever gained from being part of a school community, getting advice and information from other parents as well as teachers and principals.
December 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Did you miss our live chat on family engagement and the Logan Square parent mentor program? Scroll through below to see a recap.
- Joanna Brown, lead education organizer for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association
- Monica Espinoza, former parent mentor and current mentor coordinator at Burbank Elementary in Chicago
- Pachomius Schmidt, Federal Way teacher
- Linda Shaw, Seattle Times reporter
December 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM
Spokane district to pay for PSAT, SAT exams (The Spokesman-Review): Spokane Public Schools will pay for all its high-school juniors and seniors to take College Board exams through the end of the next school year, at an estimated cost of $104,000. Officials plan to use the PSAT to determine whether students are on track to learn college-level math after graduation.
Calif. districts fear losing millions over income-verification rules (Los Angeles Times): Education officials in Los Angeles, San Diego and other California metro areas are urging state lawmakers to delay the implementation of a new rule that requires them to verify the incomes of low-income families each year. The requirement is tied to a new law that gives districts extra money for students who are low-income, learning English or in foster care.
December 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Question: If your school ranks at the top in student performance, is there any scenario in which it might not look quite so shiny?
Answer: Yes, in a measurement of student growth.
For years, teachers have debated the accuracy of using fill-in-the-bubble achievement tests to evaluate the nuances of what goes on inside a classroom. State exams merely present a snapshot of performance on a single day, they say, failing to illuminate anything about student progress from one year to the next.
Yesterday, Washington countered this by releasing a new wave of data, the Student Growth Measure. It compares kids to their academic peers statewide, then calculates how much they improved relative to that cohort and tallies a growth rating for their school.
December 9, 2013 at 3:54 PM
Schools in Minneapolis consider discipline alternatives (StarTribune): Following a federal audit, public schools in Minneapolis are looking at ways to lower the rate at which they suspend students of color. Disproportionate discipline in Seattle has also caught the attention of federal investigators.
Mount Vernon technical school lets students sample variety of trades (Skagit Valley Herald): The Northwest Career and Technical Academy offers high-school students hands-on training in a dozen or so high-paying, in-demand fields, such as aerospace manufacturing and engineering or marine science and technology. Local districts say the school serves a critical need that they would be unable to meet individually.
December 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Can a practice that was popular in the Middle Ages help improve worker training and education today?
A new national report is urging states and the federal government to expand the use of apprenticeships — work that couples on-the-job training with class work, usually at a community or technical college.
“Apprenticeships have been a tried and true method of educating and training workers since the Middle Ages,” says the report by Ben Olinsky and Sarah Ayres, researchers with the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress. They’re the authors of “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States.”
An apprenticeship is both a job and an education. Under the “earn while you learn” model, apprentices take community or technical college classes while also working side-by-side with skilled employees to learn the trade or skill.
December 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM
We’re trying out something new with this Question of the Week.
Education Lab has partnered with the Public Insight Network (PIN), a division of American Public Media, in an effort to better engage our readers. PIN’s industry-leading online platform enables journalists to connect directly with potential sources in an effort to produce more meaningful coverage.
December 7, 2013 at 4:30 PM
On their first day of training, one mother after another paused in the classroom doorway, unsure where to sit or whether signing up for this highly regarded parent program was a good idea after all.
Trainer Monica Soto-Espinoza had anticipated their doubts.
Six years ago, she was just like many of them — a mother with limited English skills who’d come to the U.S. as a teenager and never finished high school.
What, she wondered, could she possibly offer her child’s school?
Go here to read Sunday’s front-page story by Linda Shaw.
December 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM
Change school culture to embrace parents
Joel Domingo writes about why many schools struggle to actively involve high numbers of parents in their kids’ schooling.See comments
Why it's hard to get involved as an African American parent
Even though I'm involved in education it's hard to talk to teachers about how to support my son, writes Emijah Smith.See comments
December 7, 2013 at 4:10 PM
Go here to listen as two current volunteers join Avondale-Logandale Principal Evelyn Roman and former mentor Tami Love discuss how they first became involved in the Logan Square program and what they’ve gotten out of the experience.
About the authors
Katherine Long has been a reporter for The Seattle Times since 1990, focusing for the past three years on higher ed, with stories that have ranged from the complexities of prepaid tuition programs to nontraditional ways to earn a degree.
Claudia Rowe joined The Seattle Times’ reporting staff in 2013. She has written about education for The New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other publications.
Mike Siegel has been a news photographer at the Seattle Times since 1987. His photography was used in a series titled "Methadone and the Politics of Pain," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for investigative reporting.
Janet Horne Henderson is The Times’ education editor. She has directed award-winning stories and projects examining race, immigration, religion and health, in addition to education
Caitlin Moran is community engagement editor for Education Lab. Her role is to help foster constructive dialogue online and in person
Read extended bios.
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